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Friday Slide Show: Creator Burger Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

13 May 2022

Half an hour," the clerk at the pharmacy promised. That's how long it would take to prepare Mom's prescription. No problem. We know how to spend half an hour. Take a walk with a camera.

One of the advantages of a smartphone is that, while it is a camera, it doesn't make anyone feel like they're being photographed. There's nothing immortal about a snapshot that will get lost forever in a camera roll.

So no one in a dark blue uniform will ever come up to you to ask for the film, you know?

It was already late in the day by the time we retrieved the written prescription from Mom's doctor who had just moved to a new office and couldn't communicate electronically with the pharmacy yet. And in half an hour it would be nearly dinner time.

When we passed the new burger joint, we remembered Mom had saved their promotional mailing. She thought they might deliver. Well, no. But we might, it occurred to us.

So we took a look at Creator Burger.

It's an automated operation that can produce a $14 hamburger for $6.50. And that automation also lets you customize your burger with an app (which did not tempt us). In fact, they have a number of patents:

The culinary instruments and activity at Creator (680 Folsom St., San Francisco CA 94107) are covered by one or more of the following U.S. patents: 9386799, 9770049, 10292415, 10219535, 9326544, 9295281, 9295282, 9718568, 10068273, 10086525, 10427313, 10067109, 9788687, 10143228. Our engineering team's research and development activities are at the frontier of food and technology. These efforts impact Creator, our guests and the food and technology industries at large. We've been doing robotics research and development since 2012.

Their sourcing partners are also impressive.

Their beef has no hormones or antibiotics and is Global Animal Partnership rated. Their brioche buns are freshly baked by Le Boulanger bakery. Their spices are ground fresh to order. They even make their own house brined pickles.

We decided to bring Mom a burger and fries along with her prescription.

You stand in a line and an employee (no robot -- or kiosk -- here) takes your order on a smartphone. We paid with Apple Pay to that phone as the employee looked away while we considered a tip. Most amusing (how do they know you're done?).

Then you wait until they call your name. We waited a bit less than five minutes.

And we know how to wait. Take a few photos. With our smartphone.

There are some pretty dingy dining experiences in the mall. Warehouse-like spaces with poor lighting and cold cement floors. This wasn't like that.

The whole place actually exhibited some interior design. An assembly line annotated with little placards and a welcoming dining area. We even saw one employee showing a youngster how the robotics were making his burger.

Three minutes may be great*, but it isn't enough time to get photograph a location.

Still, we came away with a handful of shots that hint at the kind of place Creator is. Intelligent, high-quality, affordable fun.

And Mom really liked the burger, too.

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